Arsenal staff have been paid for April, but the squad is baulking at the proposal – no wage cut for qualifying for the Champions League.
Players have been told that they will not have to take a pay cut for losses incurred by the club during the coronavirus crisis should they qualify for the Champions League – if and when the current Premier League season resumes – according to the Sunday Telegraph.
Sports lawyer Nick De Marco QC, of Blackstone Chambers who has been advising the PFA and various clubs during the coronavirus crisis, has told The Telegraph the impact of the pandemic potentially spans two campaigns.
He said currently May/June is the earliest re-start date, but just as likely is July-October, which he says runs into legal issues such as broadcasters not getting what they paid for.
“Many clubs, especially outside the Premier league, would be unable to keep paying players or staff for such a lengthy period. So you may reach a tipping point where it might be thought by many clubs to be more sensible to cancel the season, or bring it to an early end with a method for promotion and relegation etc, rather than delay it for such a lengthy period.”
if the season is voided, revenue loss could be in excess of £1 billion. The English top-tier can temporarily survive because it has a £9.2 billion broadcast rights deal for the 2019-2022 period.
More, bad financial news as the International Champions Cup, the pre-season exhibition tournament is postponed, meaning Premier League clubs could miss out on up to £16m in prize money ahead of the 2020-21 campaign. Arsenal took part in the last one.
And yet, more bad financial news – although this is theoretical. According to Transfermarkt, Arsenal who have the sixth most valuable squad in the country have seen their squad value decrease by £144.66m or 18 per cent since mid-March, from £636.08m to £521.42m currently.
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang’s value fell from £63m to £50.4m. Nicolas Pepe, from £58.5m to £46.8m; Alexandre Lacazette, from £54m to £43.2m. Matteo Guendouzi from £40.5m to £36.45m and Lucas Torreira from £40.5m to £32.4m.
However – not all bad as the average top six Premier League clubs (by revenue) fell 19.7%.
Plenty of quotes from Michael Arteta in the Standard, Express, Star, Sky Sports, BT Sports etc: “I’m using this time to connect with the club better and improve our relationships and make sure we are all on the same path.”
He told Sky Sports about starting as Arsenal coach: “I went through a lot when I got here. I had eight or 10 players injured, and there were a lot of issues to deal with.
“The connection between fans, players and club was in a difficult state at that moment. We had to change that energy, the belief and the commitment from the players. I was very pleased because everyone was on board with what we were doing. We started to win three or four games in a row and there was a much more positive mindset around the place.”
And BT Sport about the current situtaion: “I was worried about the mental side, that disconnection with football. I’ve been trying to give them work and get to know them better as well. I think this is a good possibility, when everybody is a bit hurt and more open about what’s going on, to get into them a little bit.
“To understand how their families are, what they’re doing to take care of them, their relatives. How they feel at the club, how they feel with their teammates. I want them to feel close with me.
“I want them to feel close to me, that they can trust me, that they can tell me their feelings. We have a lot of people that live on their own, people that have family away.”
And continued in the Star: “At the moment I’ve been talking a lot with them individually, sometimes in units and sometimes the whole squad.
“It’s been a good opportunity to really get to know them. I’ve only been here three months, so it’s good to learn a bit more about them.
“I’m using this time now to connect with the club better, to communicate and get to know everyone more.
“Hopefully when we get back playing and working together with each other we’ll be in a better position.”
Dani Ceballos’s situation is uncertain, says the Star: “I finish my contract on June 30. I would have to play for Arsenal, I don’t know how [it would work],” he told El Chiringuito.
“The most important thing will be to be important for my new team.
“I came to Arsenal to be important and in less than a month it has disappeared [because of coronavirus].
“The relationship of the future would be irresponsible for me to speak about.”
Three clubs in Spain and Juventus are interested, according to reports – and Arsenal want to extend the loan for another year – given his valuation is £35m.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been urged by the president of Gabon’s football federation, Pierre Alain Mounguengui, to move to a “more ambitious” club. Doesn’t help, but he points out that Arsenal have won nothing since Pierre’s arrival.
Very limited transfer news. Perhaps the most notable is interest in £5m goalkeeper Luis Maximiano of Sporting Lisbon, who, according to the Mirror has been scouted by Arsenal.
All coming out now
A slew of memories and confessions from ex-players. Ian Wright is a prime example, relating to BBC’s Match of the Day how he passed Arsene Wenger on rollerblades in the Marble Halls, and at that moment knowing his time as an Arsenal player was up. He also related memories of the Vitamin B6 and B12 injections when Wenger arrived.
In the programme, Arsene Wenger was voted the second best manager in the Premier League, after Sir Alex Ferguson.
In the second part of the programme, the infamous 2-4 defeat to Manchester United, which has already been shown several times on different channels, was shown and will no doubt go down in history as one of the best games of the period. But there were three bad offside decisions which had there been VAR would have changed the scoreline – probably in Arsenal’s favour.
More memories, including the half-a season playerKim Kallstrom, who arrived with a back injury and only played a few games. He tells the Mirror, via the Arsenal website:” “I look back on those moments fondly because when I reflect on it now, I never really felt like an Arsenal player.”
“I remember the FA Cup celebrations and feeling like a real outsider looking inside. I was a part of it, sure, but not really.
“I see the fans who joke on the internet about my time here, but I think it’s quite fun. There are a lot of players who have done a lot more for Arsenal than me but then at the same time there are a lot of players who have done a lot less, in a lot more time!”
And Unai Emery’s ex claiming he called her a white witch, or a bruja blanca.
Ms. Wright told the Sun on Sunday they split last September before she took Emery back in December, after he had been sacked.
“It was then that he blamed me for getting him the sack. He told me I was a white witch as I had brought him so much bad luck.
“He said, ‘It was the day we broke up that we started to lose’.
“He told me he was so stressed out that his mind wasn’t in the right place after we separated.”
Not a real surprise that Jack Wilshere, has made just a total of 16 appearances for the Hammers, since he left Arsenal, in an injury-hit spell at the London Stadium.
Speaking to Stadium Astro, Wilshere has admitted he has played nowhere near the amount of games he would have liked for West Ham.
“It hasn’t worked out for me, I’ll be honest. It hasn’t gone the way I wanted it to, I’ve missed too much football, I haven’t played enough games. I want to get it back on track, get my career back on track, get playing games week in week out and start to feel like a footballer again.”
And not forgetting The Lord Bendtner – who says he wants to be a manager. And he relates an interesting exchange with Arsene Wenger following a failed deadline day move to Crystal Palace in 2013.
“The clock has rounded 20 as Wenger rings,” he explained. He goes straight to the case. ‘It doesn’t matter to your move,’ he [Wenger] says. ‘We haven’t been able to buy the striker we wanted. So now you have to be a backup. It will be your job next year.”
“I hang up. Looking at Tom [Brookes, agent], who shrugs. Then I call back. Saying a lot of ugly, disrespectful things. Like ‘ahole’ and ‘wer.’
“‘We don’t like each other anymore’ I finish my snapping. ‘It will be best for everyone to part ways.’ I’m really trying to free myself.”